damalur: (me • we are legion)
no, use my SPACE name! ([personal profile] damalur) wrote2012-03-08 06:36 pm

me3 flailing: post-game

So I finished Mass Effect 3 today after four hours of sleep and I have to say, I am pretty disappointed in the ending. I really, really hope there is a secret unlockable NG+ or DLC alternate ending, because I found all three ends completely unsatisfying. No explanation of what the Catalyst is or how it came to be, very little choice beyond that one major synthesis/destroy/control split, and little resolution beyond the defeat of the Reapers.

I have a problem with the big reveal on two levels; the first and more valid relates to storytelling. From a storytelling point of view, the ending is inconsistent with what BioWare has written previously. I enjoy ME as an update of the basic Cthulu story - the idea that there are ancient, unknowable horrors waiting in the universe. If you're going to remove that mystery, you'd better have a damn good explanation, and taking all agency from the reapers does nothing to validate three games of painting them as the all-encompassing horror.

Also, there was far too little exposition on who or what the Catalyst is or how it came to be. Sticking a deus ex machina ending in what was generally a thoughtful sci-fi universe with a pretty well-reasoned internal logic results in angry fans with good reason. Beyond that, the lack of epilogue was disappointing; I play these games as much for the characters and small details as any other reason, and some minor nods beyond Joker and Edi in the Garden of Paradise would've been great.

My second problem with the endings is that on an emotional level, none were truly satisfying. I worked hard for my ending, damn it. I made every paragon choice I could, saved every person, hoarded every resource from the first game right through the end. There were two damn characters from the second game I was beyond thrilled to see again, and BOTH OF THEM DIED. Well, sure, I could've killed Wrex instead of Mordin, but I can't even quibble with Mordin's death - it was so perfect for his character. I sacrificed, is the point. I was careful. No, I was meticulous. I also sat in front of the TV sobbing for fifteen minutes after Tuchanka, but I'm not going to complain about that - that's effective storytelling, everything the endings could have been but weren't.

And yeah, I want that happy ending. I want Shepard to persuade the Catalyst that life, synthetic and organic, should be free to exercise self-governance without interference from some higher lifeform. Maybe we'll all kill each other in the end, but you know what? That's our right. Except for the one superficial choice, the ending removed all agency not only from the reapers and not only from Shepard, but also from the galaxy as a whole. We're directed and shaped by the Catalyst? Where was Shepard's chance to ask why? Where was Shepard's chance to put a bullet through the Catalyst and walk away, knowing she might have doomed the galaxy but that at least they were making war of their own free will? Three games of railing against the reapers and Shepard just...accepts what the Catalyst offers?

And okay, maybe I also just want an ending where Shepard tells the Catalyst to shove its head up its ass, destroys the reapers, and walks off with Garrus to raise three krogan orphans in a sunny beachside home. I would've walked away satisfied, is what I'm saying.
archerstar: (where's the vote?)

[personal profile] archerstar 2012-03-09 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
I haven't quite finished yet, but I'm allllmost there so I read anyway, and I'll comment.

Oh my God, the people they killed. THREE. FAVORITE. CHARACTERS. Mordin had me crying. I cried like a child for Legion. He was my little not quite Borg that could. I adored him.

And then I fucking lost it for Thane. I always romance Thane because no matter what I do, I can't get the Garrus romance to work, and so grown really attached to him. And I just...I fucking lost it. I woke up this morning and there were salt deposits all over my computer where I sobbed all over it.

And then my FemShep got his letter and I started sobbing again this morning. I can't. I CAN'T.

archerstar: (where's the vote?)

[personal profile] archerstar 2012-03-09 09:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Mordin's 'I would like to have seen Montana' moment was just...that's when I lost it. And I kept losing it for the rest of the game. I sobbed when Legion died. But Thane. Seriously. I was a mess. I was such a mess. My beloved Thane. I can't even. And yeah, "This is for Thane, you son of a bitch" was...yeah. I cried. Again. One thing that pissed me off is that when my Shep met up with Thane and made out with him in the middle of the hospital lobby, I didn't get the Paramour acheivement. And NO ONE in my party talked about him after he died. Like, they talk to you about Legion, for goodness sake, but NO ONE was all 'I'm so sorry about Thane, Shepard. I know you two were close' and that really disappointed me. Esp with Liara, since I romanced her in ME1 in that playthrough set, and she was always very supportive of Shep and Thane.

I'm about to start a strictly Paragon playthrough for ME2, since I'm almost always Renegade, and I'm gonna try and make all different decisions (which should be interesting since as Renegade as I tend to me, I always say 'fuck you' to the Illusive Man), and see how much things change bringing it over to ME3. I should probably play a dude one of these times. Probably. MEH.

I got to shoot the bottles with Garrus and it was perfect, but it was very best friends-y and awesome for me instead of romantic. Having her laugh like that with him, in the middle of everything? I cried at that.

And seriously. HOW do you get the Garrus romance to work? I try. EVERY TIME. But he's always calibrating and I don't think I'm saying the right things. I WANT IT. I WANT IT SO MUCH.

Ugh, the ending. I got to it last night at about 3am. It was so disappointing, also because I couldn't figure out how to get my galactic readiness up and my darling Evangeline died. But the ending. I can't. How can they make something so beautiful, so woven and connected, and then have THAT as the ending? Also, FLAWS in my ending, since I took James and Tali with me for the final battle, and James was helping Joker out of the Normandy when they crashed. I'm like '....uh-huh'.
archerstar: (where's the vote?)

[personal profile] archerstar 2012-03-12 02:41 am (UTC)(link)
I will have a save going where I see what happens when you don't take it, but...I'll probably reload and take it, because THAT'S FOR THANE, YOU SON OF A BITCH. As much as Elena is a sweetheart and I don't think she knows how to swear, she was besties with Thane, and some bastard Cerberus asshole isn't going to take him out without her getting her much needed revenge.

I GOT IT TO WORK THIS PLAYTHROUGH. They're so cute! I kind of love it. I doesn't (yet) take the place of Thane, because...yeah. My feelings for Thane I think have been made clear at this point, but. THEY'RE SO CUTE. He's so nervous! He's so adorable. I love it. I can't wait to see more in ME3. I'm only through the prologue, because I didn't want to be up until 6am again, lol.

Except somehow, I managed to have Tali die in ME2 (SHE'S NEVER DIED. I WAS ALL THE FUCK), so...I'm gonna be so fucking sad this playthrough of ME3 without my Tali girl around. I think I've read that Admiral Shala'Raan takes her place if she dies in ME2, so at least it's not Xan, as much as I could have Claudia Black talk to me all day long and be perfectly happy.

I read somewhere on Tumblr, from a low-level Bioware worker that apparently there's a possible DLC ending fix in the works, but I can't find the post again. There was some other DLC listed that I was excited about it, but it's all gone in my head right now.

I commented on your other post about what I think about the ending, and the Catalyst and how things should have been. <3

VEGA! I freaking loved him. He can Lola me up any freaking day. I thought I was gonna hate him a little, because of how much he was in Shep's face in the beginning, but he grew on me so, so much. Love him.